Jessica Turner
About the Author

Jessica Turner is the author of Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter and Thrive, and blogs on The Mom Creative. Every day is a juggling act as she balances working full-time, making memories with her family, photographing the every day and trying to be...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. For me, the answer that comes when I ask, “What do I want?” is that I want to follow God. It’s similar … I need to see God at some level to follow His plan for me. I want to follow God, to see His will for me in each moment. “Beauty is the voice endlessly calling and so we see, so we reach…I pay tribute to God by paying attention….Don’t I give God most glory when I am fully alive?….Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing.” To me, it’s the same thing … whether I’m seeking God’s beauty or to truly follow Him, I must be fully alive in each moment.

  2. What do I want? All of me found in all of Him. I have been pondering beauty and its seeing a lot in recent days (thanks to Ann and this book in large part) in the middle of this natal forming of a new nation, in the middle of the dry season where fires ring our compound nightly.

    I am reminded. Jesus gives us a crown of beauty for ashes (Isa 61:3). I can only carry the authority of His beauty in the places I have said yes to being consumed by His loving fire. My desire: to live a yes-cry to the flame in every area of my heart and life that brings with it the authority of a beauty not my own.

    Also to chase the moon and gape at stars. Grateful to live in war zone and see it begin to grow into a garden. Love from Sudan- Michele

    • Thank you Michele, Thank you for sharing here.
      Im thankful for your obedience that displays the glorious light of God in the midst of war & darkness, so that ‘beautiful garden’ may grow among the people of Sudan.
      May the Lord multiply and magnify His Love in Sudan, and i pray every blessing to you in Jesus name. Thank you that you are found in Him, it is a beauty to behold. x

    • Your war-torn words are beautiful to me— how much more so to the One Who holds your Right Hand, Isaiah 41:13, Who called you in the midst of terror and trembling…and such gratitude. You have such a Beauty about you that will mark many under your waiting Sudan moons! Love and Light from under the same moon tonight. Bev

  3. Just yesterday I had the same type of thoughts cross my mind as Ann had about her neighbor and what they would think of her. As I crossed the street, with a steady stream of early morning traffic, people heading off to the city to their jobs… I was headed over to take photos of the snow on the christmas tree farm our neighbors have. I thought to myself, “People must think this church’s pastor’s wife is wacked.”

    This was refreshing to find that someone else found the prayer without ceasing is praying with our eyes open and giving thanks for what He has graced us with. This type of habit helped me through some rough times on the mission field. Ann’s process is more refined than how I approached it. I am finding Ann’s to be a much more profitable approach.

    SEED: I want to see God in EVERY moment.
    WATER: too keep practicing the exercise, the discipline, to help me to stay focused
    BLOOM: more joy in my everyday life, in every moment, while I keep at the monotonous tasks I must do each day… to find them not so monotonous. If that makes any sense?

    • Your seed, water and bloom make perfect sense to me. They echo exactly what I need. Sometimes I allow the monotony to overwhelm me, bore me or just paralyze me. It’s a struggle I don’t understand and makes me feel like an ungrateful person. Thanks for making sense to me!

  4. Thank you for this chapter. I needed it, I needed the reminder that being thankful for everything now leads me to God, Giving Him thanks, and turning a hunger/desire for this or that and reaching out to God is the way to fill any void I may be feeling. Today’s video spoke to me right here, right now in words I needed. Thank you for the videos. They bring such a great element to the book, I am catching things I missed as I read through, however I am ready to begin the book again, this time with pen in hand to make reminders and notes in my eucharisteo journey. What a blessing you are Ann, and thanks Jess and Angie for doing this book club!

  5. Thanks, ladies! I really enjoyed this chapter, it makes me long for more childlike awe because it truly is beautiful. I’ll never forget my son grabbing his heart the first time he saw, or really saw, a rainbow. Beauty is staggering when we have eyes to see or take the time to see. I long to see it in everything, and to walk in obedience as I head back into my own home, in the daily living, in the frustrations….so I too will continue to practice thanksgiving. All is sacred because He is here! Thanks so much for encouraging me in this direction, and for pointing out this truth in scripture. I am reminded each time I take communion that Jesus gave thanks and it gets me every time…its staggering. I want to see Him in everything, Lord help my unbelief.

  6. For me the section about finding the Beauty Maker was absolutely soul truth! I take lots of photos, and Ann’s description of just never feeling like it is close enough, or the right angle, or getting just the right details really helped me realize that it is God himself I am trying to capture through the lens! I want every single detail of his majestic creation to be caught on film to rejoice in with Him.

    I don’t think I can describe in words how this book has affected me. I’m thanking God that he convinced Ann to share her story with all of us. What a blessing!

  7. Too long I have lived with the unspoken assumption that beauty is like frosting on cake for people who don’t have time for dessert.
    Upending that: Seeing the beauty that God has provided all around me, praising him; it’s restorative. Gratitude journaling has shown me how to do that.
    What do I want? My instant response is “I want my mamma!” Always the choice to look beyond her to the God who gave her to me, who loves and provides, to look for his love still coming to me, in many forms.
    I want God’s love. Flowing into me and out through me.

    Hearing is more effective somehow for me than reading, so I’m thankful for the videos that bring the content into my heart in a deeper way (Just in case you wondered if the videos were necessary, or if Ann’s feeling embarrassed!).

  8. What do I want? I want to be full, satisfied. I have been hungry my whole life filling the emptiness, the hunger with food, material possessions, envy, wanting, wanting , wanting. My marriage is empty….I’m always hungry. I have carried the yoke of anger and resentment for being an insulin dependent diabetic…me, a sugar addict! What was God thinking? I finally asked the question two days ago, “Lord, where is the gift in diabetes? In my insatiable cravings for sweets. Show me.” And He did. In my bible study we are studying the minor prophets. In Amos 4:6-11 God says that “He gave you empty stomachs in every city …yet you have not returned to me….” He describes all the gifts (ugly) He gave to Israel so that she might “see” Him (beauty). My God gave me the gifts of diabetes and heart palpitations, stomach issues, fat (yes, FAT) and joint pain because He is the hound of heaven. He knew what I needed most, He said to me, eat my Word for it satisfies, snack on my scripture for it is sweet, indulge in my love for it is everlasting. It is through the writing down of His daily gifts, the longing to be full, the discipline of beauty that Ann speaks of, that I can “see” God in the ugly. See the gift of beauty that is sometimes hidden deep in the ugly. I am so thankful. So full. God has given me new eyes to see.

    • Sharon,
      thanks for sharing this, and for being transparent in your sharing. It’s the hardest thing, to deal with lifelong issues in our bodies, isn’t it? but to see it as a gift from the Lord who loves us, that is even harder. I pray you will continue to be drawn to Him as your fulfillment. My husband always says — anything that brings us to our knees is a good thing. Blessings!

    • There is a great new book out called Made to Crave by Lisa Terkeust. You might really find it encouraging to this next chapter in your journey!

  9. Seed? I want to see God in Everything…good & hard.
    Water? To continue my discipline of seeing God and keeping record
    Grow? To open my eyes to Him in every circumstance

    I loved that opening my eyes is praying without ceasing. I have thought on this concept for awhile now. I think this statement gives my thought some feet.

    Beauty being an addiction…yes to our culture, but oh, how I long to be enthralled by God’s beauty daily!

    Thanks ladies! Very thought provoking.

  10. Seed: “I could live blind, either in black or in blaze. I’ll be all eye, all blinded by glory.”
    Water: I will sift through each moment of the day, I will not stop.
    Grow: I want my children growing up with a mama that lives the JOY of the Lord.

    This week was hard! And then watching the video – I feel I went in a different direction than Jessica, but then why would I be surprised if the Lord used this lesson to teach me something personal? (grin)

    I love seeing how God is personalizing this book for everyone!

    More of my journey here:

  11. “How we behold determines if we hold joy. Behold glory and be held by God.” (pg 113)

    I want to behold and be held… I want to be so God-focused that all else fades.
    I want to pray with eyes wide open and palms opened wide… I want to fully live simple faith.

    I want to feel the weight of His glory sink deep within me, because the weight of any pain is not heavy enough and must rise to the top… skimmed off, but not discarded… Oh God, only you can grace-whip the unwanted into sweet joy. Let me savor long…
    “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Ps 34:8

    I can look backwards in thanks, and move forward in grace… for the joy set before me, I do it all again… love again, hurt again, and give thanks again… and again… and again. I want to live fully in the here and now; and not waste a moment in regrets.

    Open the heart, extend the hand, lay down the life, seek the treasures… “I will give you treasures from the darkness, riches stored in the secret places, that you may know that I am the Lord, who calls you by name.”(Is 45:3)… always seeking the glory treasures that blind.

  12. Seed: What do I want?
    I want to be fully used. I want not to be afraid to be fully used. I want His opinion to matter most to me.
    Writing/looking for gifts daily is to be in His company all the time. I can learn Him. I can know Him better each day.
    I can speak His perfect truth and not be perfect. I can raise up my children with His strength. I can be an example of a beautifully broken, confident in Him, daughter. I can be fully used! All things are possible.
    Acts 4:29-30 “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.
    I am learning so much through this study of Eucharisteo! Thanks and thanks again.

  13. Great chapter, lots to think about!!
    1. What do I want? This will take some pondering.
    Seed: I know I want to teach other women what I’ve learned the hard way. I also love connecting women to each other, encouraging women to be their best, etc.
    One recent theme is that I want to know that I am acceptable to God. I just want to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I want to know I am approved. I want to know I am who He needs me to be.
    Water: Look at how God made me, what direction He seems to be pointing me in and what His Word says about me. How can I be my best me and encoruage women to be their best them?? I think the bottom line is NO CONDEMNATION and realizing God’s love of us. How better to do that than with gratitude??
    Bloom: I want to continue to pour into other women’s lives and see where God takes it, especially where it concerns gift-counting, accepting grace, etc.–all the things the book talks about!
    2. Have I had “the moment?” YES. Or rather, a long time period of many, many small moments (which works perfectly along with Ann’s concepts!). I realized that *I* was standing in the way of my relationship with God. I realized my very middle name, Anne, is GRACE and I just have to accept grace and not add to it. WAIT! THere’s an a-ha moment!! Just as we have to accept grace for what it is, so do I have to accept *me* how I am, without always adding to me. Good one! As a people-pleaser who struggles with why anyone would like just ME, that’s a big epiphany.
    At the height of my anxiety when I was postpartum in ’09, I finally surrendered it all to God and gave up trying anymore, and it was a huge turning point for me. I couldn’t do it–God had to do it. That surrender is now on-going. I have to stop working and just do my part and let HIM do the work!
    I’ve had many moments lately where I go, “Wow, that was definitely God trying to get His message across!” and it still blows my mind, that He’s interested in showing Himself to me in new ways. It’s amazing!! It’s a shame that so many people,including Christians, miss that. It really does give a new meaning to life.
    3. Is beauty an addiction?? YES! I love that insight because I find myself always looking for beauty–I think that’s why I love decorating magazines, shopping, blog-hopping….I’m always looking for something beautiful, whether an object, an item of clothing, a pillow or a visual. I am a crafter and deeply entrenched in the crafting world and so many women seem to define themselves that way. Now I see why–we’re all trying to surround ourselves with beauty because we want to see GOD!
    I love Ann’s insights about how we SEE. I am trying so hard to re-train myself to see things differently!! It’s working because I am not anxious anymore….but I walk that tight-rope and notice that the more I focus on the moment, on the small things, on the beauty God uses to point me back to Him…the more steady I feel, the better I can handle life, the better equipped I am to fulfill His best for my life.
    What a great chapter!

    • Yes, I feel the same way — I also am always looking at decorating magazines and love browsing in those shops that have all the home decorating things. I’ve been on the verge of making this connection (translate: its what God has been whispering but I’ve been only faintly hearing!) . Aha!

    • Tabitha: You have poured into my life! I’ve been struggling. And my middle name is Ann! I had forgotten about my middle name! (I haven’t used it in the nearly 28 years I’ve been married.) Surrender! That is what I need to work at! Thank you!

  14. I think I just saw a Beautiful God at Wells Fargo down south here…
    Me: Please deposit this personal check from someone I’ve met only once.
    Banker: Look Lady at what the Memo Line says: From, Jesus. 1000 Gifts. The banker turns to his co-worker and beckons. Come see this! She just got 1000 Gifts from Jesus.
    Me: The check with all those 0’s came in the mail accompanied by a book called “1000 Gifts.”
    It was 1000 Gifts from one of your readers.

    I am simply awestruck in Austin by this chapter in my life, Chapter 6.
    I’m wondering if real maturity is not measured by where we think we are but by what we’re open to under that full moon, in the farm fan, on the gravel road. Our Morning Star is most visible in that pitch of blackness. Your words bring me courage to kneel in my dark night. The Darling of Heaven is there with you as you explode in ineffable joy in a pastoral pasture. My writing is so sophomoric (your rhetoric in this chapter was just unbelievably liminal and lovely), but I push through that to say: He is there with you below His Heavens— for you are broken and “a grace thief” released. Psalm 50:2 – it’s a Beautiful God Who pours out of you. Perfect in Beauty, He is!

    Can I just say that we are all sacred companions hunted and haunted under a waning moon this night. Hosea 2:14. Awestruck by your intrigue, your invite into Traces of our Good God Who is so Present, and yet so Vanishing at times (yet the only one who moved is me)…and even in the hard you will wrap your heart around Him to still obey. Hebrews 11:27. I think He loves that! Loose us all like Lazarus, O God.

    At a crossroads last night facing a big life decision about which way to go…and I read the top of page 107 and God so spoke. I walked into a building today imagining Genesis 28:16-17 plastered above the cupola. Your words, again, so brought God to me and I wasn’t aware He was in the place where I stood and let go of dashed dreams to accept where I didn’t want to go, but what God wanted. Letting go of emptynest dreams of what I thought life would be like at this juncture.

    What do I want? I long with all my heart to be fully alive in Him, my Beautiful God. Not relief from all that ails me (and it’s a lot) but release of Hope, of Intimacy, of Joy with my Redeemer Who loves me so. “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.” Irenaeus. I only have a few years left. I so want to finish well. I don’t want to miss the Grace of God anymore (Jonah 2:8). Oh, that Christ be formed in me, Gal 4:19. I’m such a mess over here in Texas, but, make no mistake, I’m growing into a tad bit more of a Glorious Mess than ever! I am so enjoying this book club. A Thousand Thanks, Bev

    • Dear, sweet Bev. How I wish I could wrap my arms around you, sit across the table from you sipping coffee and sharing our gleanings from this book in person. I am praying His personal, beautiful touch in your life today, right now, at this very moment. I don’t know you, but I love you.


  15. Seed: To find beauty in myself 
    Water: To bow before the Son and absorb His Light–to truly worship
    Growth: Finding my path of obedience–to submit in sweet surrender–His sparrow

  16. I love the words “Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing.” I had just been thinking, before I read this chapter, how looking for 1000 Gifts … always being watchful for God’s gifts to us, and verbalizing our thanks to Him as we live our moments, is really “praying without ceasing”. It’s not the act of writing our thanks down in a “list”, but it is actually the deep communication from our hearts … thanking Him, communing with Him, praying without ceasing. I like this way of looking at counting the gifts He gives … And in the midst of expressing our thanks, mixed in with our thanks, is the bringing of our needs to Him, as well. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” (Philippians 4:6) Thanking Him, and giving our cares to Him … all through the day. Praying without ceasing. Thanks for this chapter … so beautiful.

    • Cherry I wholeheartedly agree with your first sentence. Missed it the first time around and make no mistake, it won’t happen again! I love it also.

  17. So good. So, so good. This chapter resonates with me on so many levels, I don’t even know what to say. A line from a song our youngest son wrote after a time in the mountains comes to mind: “It’s this beauty that sustains me; it’s Your Beauty that explains me.”

    The seed. (A lifetime of seeds?) I married a man who came to faith when Beauty broke his youthful heart and he fell to his knees crying out, “Who are You, Creator God?” Later he read the book of John and found His answer. Ever since, always, it’s this trying to wrap words around the ache. Both of us. And our children after us. Poetry. Music. Color on canvas. Anything to ease that ache. Looking back I see that we’ve lived the past three decades on a beauty hunt, the ache an ever-present heaviness.

    The water. Ah, yes. I’ve passed through the water with a first-born son, heard God say, “Keep your eyes open,” and seen Him transform brokenness into beauty. I’ve begged God to remove the thorn from a daughter, only to hear His gentle whisper: “You know I AM good. If I give this to her, it is a gift.” I’ve marveled at the peace that settles like a cloud into every crevice of jagged fear. I’ve written these stories and told them, but something was missing. How could I miss it? Isn’t it the most natural thing when someone gives you a good gift? Eucharisteo. When we receive — when we see — we respond.

    The “moment.” Years of the beauty hunt, and now this book. An invitation to respond to a lifetime of God’s faithfulness with eucharisteo. To see Him in every moment. This book is my moon, Ann. Thank you for what you’ve written and the way you’ve written it. A sanctuary of words where the soul is hushed and the shoes come off.

    The growth. Live eucharisteo. Slow down, fully enter the ever-present ache, see and then walk in the full freedom of obedience. Grant it, Lord, that we might reflect Your glory like that harvest moon.

    Much love,

    • Jeanne, Your words are lovely and so inviting. When you wrote: “This book is my moon,” something inside of me wanted to stand and softly applaud the “sanctuary of words where the soul is hushed and the shoes come off.” You speak well what my soul thinks and feels. Thank you so! I remember your other comments and you’re a walking miracle in what you have embraced in your suffering. It is Grace upon Grace in your words, John 1:16. Love, Bev

  18. What do I want? Transfiguration. Wholly and completely in God’s perfect timing. To have others see Him in me.

    What do I want? To remember where there is pain there can also be grace. And to spot it.

    What do I want? Eyes of faith and lips of thanks. In such a way my husband and children can see it.

    What do I want? To pray without ceasing as I know it is possible, with eyes wide open.

  19. Sorry but I’m having problems watching this video. On my computer it will play through the introduction and then it freezes every time when Ann says, ‘it’s coming from Scripture’ and then the video won’t play any further than that. I haven’t had any other problems with any of the other videos. Can anyone help me out with what I might be doing wrong???? Do the Vimeo videos take some time to upload before I can play them? Like I said, I could watch all the other videos without any problem…. any help would be GREAT! Thanks 😀

  20. Thank You for my free book, I just started with Chapter one and posted this comment but wasn’t sure anyone was checking past comments so thought I would repost here. I will try to catch up. Lord Willing, but I am usually late with everything.

    OH GOD! NO! NO! NO!

    It was a very cold February morning. I was a 19 yr old with a 7 wk old baby, I was estranged from My Family at the time, and had nowhere to live so I was spending the night with my BIL and his family. The baby and I had gone to sleep on the couch around 1 am. I awoke to my BIL trying to quietly tiptoe past us and ask him the time…He said 7 am. An eerie, odd feeling came over me…I jolted off the couch, went to grab the baby, but I KNEW I KNEW! I ignored the fact that his face was puffy on one side and bluish on the other side. I jerked him up, I flipped him over, I popped him on the back, and I flipped him back up and blew hard in his face close to his nose and mouth like I had done several times before. This time he did NOT take in that breath! H did NOT let out that WAIL! That’s when I think I really knew but did not want to accept it! My BIL took him from me, took him outside as if the extreme cold air would shock him and came back in with him and started CPR on him….I was going between its going to work like before and Oh God! No! No! PLEASE NO! DON’T TAKE MY BABY! He’s all I have! My 18 month old had been taken by my mother by her tricking me into signing temporary custody papers for insurance for my sick daughter. My husband was in jail for “being stupid” and stealing. I wasn’t speaking with most of my family because of the issue with my daughter and some misunderstandings. I had lost my job while I was pregnant and lost my residence when the baby was a couple weeks old. SOOOO, HE REALLY WAS ALLLLL I HAD!!!

    Wow! I never really shared this with many people, I don’t even think my grown daughters have ever heard this. But this chapter in this book just FLOODED those memories back over and over! And I just so happen to be reading in February, the month God took my baby home. (BTW: they said it was SIDS! THAT’s A LOOONGG story I won’t get into but…it WASN’T SIDS, it was doctors and hospital covering their behinds) I am EVER SO THANKFUL that God Chose this EXACT moment to REALLY SPEAK TO ME LIKE NEVER BEFORE! I had been in and out of churches with other people but I was not raised in a Christian house…so far from it. I had come through so much in life by then, I was pretty darn strong on my own but GOD KNEW I would not be able to handle this one ALONE! This is when He showed me how precious every MOMENT in life is and NEVER SAY OR DO ANYTHING YOU WILL REGRET! I RAISED My GIRLS that way: With knowledge of God, I tried to not only talk it but walk it and to always show your LOVE for people no matter what was happening because you NEVER KNOW WHEN THAT WILL BE THE LAST OPPORTUNITY YOU GET A MOMENT WITH THAT PERSON!

    Sorry this was so long and so late….I’m always late but I get there!

    • Precious Tracy, my heart breaks for your loss, especially at such a young age. I became a mama at 17 and can’t imagine having experienced loss so young. I would say goodbye too soon to a newborn several years later, but I don’t know how I would have done it as practically still a child myself.

      I can’t bless God enough for bringing you through such agony (and I know what you shared here is a tiny tip of the iceberg) and for using your testimony to speak love and hope and eucharisteo into the hearts of women all over the world. You walked it, lived it, breathed it in like acrid smoke that tore your lungs, and you can with burning clarity say you’ve tasted sorrow. Thank you for being willing to reach out and speak of the peace that passes understanding, that we can all share in the hope He brought to you, that He brings to all of us every moment.

      With sincerest love,

      • Lisa,
        I can not relate to your pain in any way …. I have not lost a child, but I am so sorry for your loss. It’s amazing to me that God has used this book to touch so many women in such different ways. I have been telling everyone I know about it, and think I will be starting a group at our church to share it as well. Many more people will be touched by your transparency and love you God.
        I didn’t think of this until I read your post but I also have a Oh, God NOOOOO story. I was 23 years young, married, having our first baby. My daughter was born with a genetic disorder. At first they thought it may be Down’s. The doctors were unsure of what her future was, or life expectancy. They told us this the day after she was born. At that time the tests took several weeks to come back. I remember bringing her home and crying out to God.. thinking.. well we can do this, at least it’s not her heart or something life threatening.
        When my daughter was four we went to see a cardiologist about a slight murmur that we were told was probably nothing. In the office we were told that it was severe, and that she would need surgery . I remember the Oh God No!!!! feeling. I truly believe God knew I could not have handled that four years prior. He did chose to heal her through the surgeon. He also showed us how to be completely dependent on him. He showed us love, and compassion, and when we gave our daughter over to him to heal whichever way he chose, it was one of the most peaceful times that I can remember. We knew whatever happened, we would
        ok. I can remember sitting in the waiting room with complete peace ( ok, not complete.. but as good as it could get in that situation) thinking how do parents go though this that to not have Him to lean on?
        This only happened after we gave in completely to Him. While she was in surgery, and while she recovered, he gave us multiple opportunities to serve others and show his love. How amazing He is!
        Praise God that you have found Him and this book!

  21. There is one thing that stayed with me the whole way through the chapter, and I’m pretty sure I know why. It is this: What of Darryl? His role in this Run For the Moon is veiled but vital. Why did this haunt me? Because what Darryl did for Ann is what Steve does for me, has done for me every day since we met when I was fifteen. He has always supported, always celebrated who I am deep-down. He has seen it even when I didn’t see it myself because he took the time and effort to truly know me. I was touched when at the end of the chapter Ann wraps the whole thing back around to an awareness of the beautiful gift her husband had given her. What a selfless, Godly thing to do. We are wives blessed of God.

    Almost poetically, I turned a page in chapter 6 and a note from Steve fell out of my book.

    “I love you. You are so wonderful.”

    Sharing the study of this book with him is one of the greatest blessings of discovering it.

    I have discovered such beauty in the writings, in the faces, in just the meeting in this tiny way, of so many lovely women from all over the world in the study and discussion of this book. I have seen beauty I didn’t know existed in the thoughts shared by these women I didn’t know existed only a month ago. I read of their shadow moments, of their calling out to God, of their hope and their joy rising up from the ashes of tragedy and loss and illness and pain, and instead of shrieking “Curse God and die!” they swallow hard and softly whisper, “I want to see God and live.”

    I want to see God and live.

    • Lisa,

      Are we both so blessed to have a loving, wonderful husband who delights to bless us? I often jokingly tell my husband “I don’t deserve you!” and we chuckle in the way it can be taken to mean two opposite things. I don’t explain or clarify the statement, and we laugh. But he knows and I know that I always mean that I am unworthy of such endearing love on his behalf. I love him with all my heart, and he loves me back. What we both know is that though we are unworthy ourselves, Christ has made us worthy.

      We are so blessed to have this love-gift in our spouse !!!

  22. I love the picture of Ann running out to touch the moon. Looking at a harvest moon truly does make any of us just want to kneel before the Creator and thank Him for the Beauty. And aren’t we all thankful for that big light in the night sky……….some day God will take away the sun and the moon…….and we followers of our Saviour and Lord will have to be His light in the darkness of our neighborhoods. Sometimes when I’m taking my walk I like to stop and smell flowers or sweet smelling bushes…….I too feel silly, then think, I’m connecting with my Daddy who loved me enough to make pretty things for me to look at and nice things for me to smell. I think when we feel frustrated with life or those we love……….we need to close our eyes and bask in His sweet aroma………..then open our eyes and be thankful for homes to live in, food to eat, clean water to drink, and even the annoying people around us………its better to have people around than to be sitting alone somewhere. I’m enjoying this journey of “being thankful for everything” and taking the time to see God’s glory all around me.

  23. The moon the other night seemed to take up the whole sky and I was reminded of Ann. I was wondering if all of you book club members saw it too. Did it make you smile? It made me pause and reflect on “What I Want”. This journey is allowing me to live with gratitude and peace in a chaotic world. So many of the comments give me something new to think about and pray on. Thank you all.

    • I will always think of Ann on such nights for the rest of my life. Thank YOU, Rose, for sharing your heart. My mother was Rose, as is my daughter, so your very name makes me smile. 🙂


  24. So true Caroline…Michelle is one of His gardens in Sudan. You too precious sister are another glorious garden.
    It a joy to walk through and see the various plantings of the Lord….so many….these are my treasured gifts…the REAL gift of CHRIST. The beauty of this natural world and the eucharisteo of all that it contains prepares and tills the ground of the heart to receive what the shadow points too …. The many splendored beauty of
    My Father being seen & heard through His Holy sons and daughters… For Christ Jesus is doing it all…and to Him alone belongs all the glory.
    I honor your workmanship Lord… They are beautiful… For you are beautiful… I love all the different stages that you are in within each individual…of all the different heart-cries I hear… ” I want this, I need you to help me, I don’t understand , I want more of you, I’m tired Lord, no more Lord, I want all of you Lord…”…..on & on the beautiful cries of all the differing stages of sonship…. And you our glorious forerunner understand them ALL…. and are bringing everyone of us through to complete victory! All praise to your most holy name …Yahshuah/Jesus King of Glory!

    I want what He wants.

    All His love & peace to you… His precious gardens.

  25. What I loved about Ch. 6 is that it put into words something that I’ve been just about to absorb lately. It seems like God has been whispering these words to be about my relentless pursuit of beauty and now I think I understand what He’s been saying.

    We so long to fill our senses, all five of them, with beauty:
    *beautiful surroundings (home, yard, clothing, restaurants, shops, travel);
    *beautiful sounds (music, water, peaceful quiet, background noise, );
    *beautiful scents (perfume, candles, diffusers, food, flowers );
    *beautiful things to feel ( sheets, lotions, massages, fabrics, );
    *beautiful tastes ( desserts, coffees, gum, gourmet meals, new recipes, something different)….
    all in a quest to tickle our senses and to envelop ourselves in beauty, comfort, pleasures. There’s really nothing wrong with these, and it’s a natural thing to want to have these comforts/pleasures. These are things that satisfy our senses, but, what really satisfies our souls? The world is looking to these things also to satisfy a deeper hunger, a soul-hunger, and sometimes I do the same!

    What we (and the world) are trying to do is to fill our empty hearts with what the world gives, when all along it has been just before us and within us — in God! He is Beauty, yes. He is! (interestingly, when we are filled with God first, these other things take on a deeper more meaningful beauty!)

    My seed: He alone can satisfy my hunger for beauty.
    Water: (His Word!) “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…”
    Growth: He is opening my spiritual eyes more and more with every gift I’m adding to the list! Praying with eyes wide open!!!

    (Does this make sense to anyone? I am struggling to put my thoughts into words today!)

  26. Hi Vicki…
    You have expressed Him beautifully.
    The beauty is Him….all Him…Christ is all and fills all.
    This world is only the shadow pointing to the reality….Christ. The Kingdom of Heaven is within. Yes, we see His beauty in the natural realm but oh to see Him in the Spirit…for He is Spirit…and I see Him in you…I see Him in all the glorious expressions of this community…I hear Him.
    I see Him in all the different stages of development….He is beautiful to behold!
    Oh how I long and cry out for His Kingdom to be manifested in the earth… The REALITY to step forth…and all of creation is waiting on tip toes too. Soon very soon…New Jerusalem is so very pregnant right now….GLORY!!
    His offspring are coming forth in such a mighty expression of HIMSELF…this has been happening of course throughout the ages but the trickle is now becoming a stream that is ever increasing and growing into His RIVER OF LIFE.
    To Yahshuah be praised and given all the glory!
    His blessings to you.

  27. what do I want?

    I want to love my kids into His kingdom. I want to love God well and love my children so well, that they love God in return…and love each other….and carry it down to the next generation.

  28. Wonderful comments from a Christ-filled community!

    I long to see Him in me. I want others to see Him in me too. I want to pray without ceasing, never submitting to the blinding blows of ingratitude. I want to practice obedience in the Beauty of Him.

    What began as a quest to name 1000 gifts has grown considerably more complex and rooted in my heart. Blessings!!

  29. To SEE deeply – unafraid. To THANK deeply – unobstructed. To FEEL JOY deeply – uninhibited. Freedom. Real. Passionte. Unrestrained. Spontaneous. Natural. Unreserved.

  30. SEED: What do I want ?
    WATER: Innocence restored… That which was distorted as a child… That changed who I was… What I hold back…I want freedom…..spontaneity… live The Beauty of Song of Songs… Without shame or apology…
    GROW: Being Open to Tbe Beauty of Love as God meant between a Husband and Wife

  31. What do I want? To cling to Him and nothing else. To give thanks…in the hard, in the ugly-beautiful. To fix my eyes on Him with eternity behind my every thought. To live in that place where I know and trust that He will meet me there…in every step…in every place.

  32. Seed: God’s beauty is everywhere…and is there for DAILY {manna} communion with Him.

    Water: Be purposeful in looking for, SEEING and obeying Beauty {with a capital B}

    Bloom: OPEN EYES!